LifestyleArtsAward-winning portraits on show in Bundaberg

Award-winning portraits on show in Bundaberg

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023
The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 will be on display at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery from 17 February. Photo: Bangardidjan, 2022 Renae Saxby.

National award-winning portraits will be on show at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery when it hosts the National Portrait Gallery’s travelling exhibition, the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 (NPPP), from 17 February.

Established by the National Portrait Gallery to support and celebrate photographic portraiture in Australia, the NPPP was first awarded in 2007.

It has since become a highlight of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual calendar, attracting thousands of entries each year from amateur and professional photographers around the country. 

National Portrait Gallery Director Bree Pickering said the NPPP was a beloved national prize that supported the Australian photographic community.

“The NPPP enlarges our collective experience of the Australian people, from the well-known and celebrated, to local heroes and identities,” she said.

“It is a pillar of the gallery’s travelling exhibition program, which sees many rich and varied examples of photographic portraiture shared with audiences across the country.”

In 2023 the judges, National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Joanna Gilmour, Centre for Contemporary Photography Director Daniel Boetker-Smith, and photo media artist Tamara Dean, selected 47 finalists from a pool of almost 2400 entries. 

Joanna said in its purest form, portraiture captures the real time encounter between artists and subjects.

“Many of the 47 finalists in 2023 succeeded in revealing the quirks or flaws or vulnerabilities of their subjects and have gently yet uncompromisingly allowed their sitters to be themselves,” she said.

The Gallery’s Autumn exhibition suite will launch on Friday 16 February with a special opening night event, followed by opening weekend talks from National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Joanna Gilmour and Gallery 2 exhibiting artist Simon Degroot.

Award-winning portraits

The Winner, Highly Commended, Art Handlers’ and People’s Choice awards were announced in Canberra prior to the exhibition tour.

Shea Kirk’s portrait of friend and fellow-artist Emma Armstrong-Porter, titled Ruby (left view), won the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Renae Saxby was awarded the Highly Commended prize for her work Bangardidjan 2022, a photo of Cindy Rostron, a proud Kune, Rembarrnga, Dalabon woman of the Bonongku and Wurrbban clans, on the road in remote Central Arnhem Land.

The Art Handlers’ award recipient was David Cossini for his portrait of Ugandan man Godfrey Baguma, titled Ugandan Ssebabi.

The People’s Choice Award, supported by the Calvert-Jones Foundation, went to Bruce Agew for their portrait KAHA, 2022.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 is a National Portrait Gallery touring exhibition.

This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, 1 Barolin Street Bundaberg

When: 17 February to 5 May 2024

Opening event: Friday 16 February, 5.30 pm

Free, no booking required

Curator’s talk: Joanna Gilmour, Senior Curator, National Portrait Gallery

Saturday 17 February, 10 am

Free, no booking required

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery will be closed to the public from Monday 5 February to Friday 16 February for scheduled maintenance and exhibition installation.

The gallery will reopen on Friday 16 February at 5.30 pm for a special opening event to celebrate the latest suite of exhibitions.



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